From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

DICT is a dictionary network protocol created by the DICT Development Group.[1] It is described by RFC 2229, published in 1997. Its goal is to surpass the Webster protocol and to allow clients to access more dictionaries during use. DICT servers and clients use TCP port 2628.

Resources for free dictionaries from DICT protocol servers[edit]

  • A repository of source files for the DICT Development group's dict protocol server (with a few sample dictionaries) is available online.[2]

Dictionaries of English[edit]

Bilingual dictionaries[edit]

  • Big English–Russian Dictionary
  • English–French dictionary
  • Freedict provides a collection of over 85 translating dictionaries, as XML source files with the data, mostly accompanied by databases generated from the XML files in the format used by DICT servers and clients. These are available from the Freedict project web site at.[5]
  • FREELANG Dictionary
  • Lingvo English–Russian and Russian–English dictionaries are not free, but when purchased, can easily be converted into DICT format
  • Mueller's English–Russian dictionary
  • Slovak-English legal dictionary
  • Slovak-Italian legal dictionary

DICT servers[edit]

  • dictd (the standard server made by the DICT Development Group)
  • DictD++[6] – modern powerful server written in C++ with heavy usage of STL and boost
  • GNU Dico[7]
  • JDictd[8] – a Java-based DICT server implementation (abandoned)

DICT file format[edit]

The standard dictd server made by the DICT Development Group uses a special DICT file format, although other dictd servers (such as GNU Dico) may optionally use other file formats.

Dictionaries in the standard DICT file format are made up of two files, a .index file and a .dict file (or .dict.dz if compressed). These files are not usually written manually but are compiled by a program called dictfmt. For example, the Unix command:

 dictfmt --utf8 --allchars -s "My Dictionary" -j mydict < mydict.txt

will compile a Unicode-compatible DICT file called mydict, with heading My Dictionary, from mydict.txt which is in Jargon File format i.e.:

:word1:definition 1
:word2:definition 2

Once the dictionary file has been produced, installing it in the server is normally a matter of typing something like:

mv mydict.dict mydict.index /usr/share/dictd/
/usr/sbin/dictdconfig -—write
/etc/init.d/dictd restart

DICT clients[edit]

A dictd server can be used from Telnet. For example, to connect to the DICT server on localhost, on a Unix system one can normally type:

telnet localhost dict

and then enter the command "help" to see the available commands. The standard dictd package also provides a "dict" command for command-line use.

More sophisticated DICT clients include:

There are also programs that read the DICT file format directly. For example, S60Dict,[17] is a dictionary program for Symbian Series 60 that uses DICT dictionaries. Additionally, some DICT clients, such as Fantasdic, are also capable of reading the DICT format directly.

DICT converters[edit]

  • Linguae Software[18] is able to convert from/to wb, dict (stardict and dictd) csv, xdxf, txt, ini and ling (native) file formats, Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.
  • XDXF[19] XML Dictionary Exchange Format converts between various dictionary formats using pluggable codec architecture.


In order to efficiently store dictionary data, dictzip, an extension to the gzip compression format (also the name of the utility), can be used to compress a .dict file. Dictzip compresses file in chunks and stores the chunk index in the gzip file header, thus allowing random access to the data.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "dict.org". Dict.org. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  2. ^ "dict.org: Resources". Dict.org. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "delorie.com". Delorie.com. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  5. ^ "freedict.org". FreeDict Project. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  6. ^ "ndl.kie.ua". Ndl.kiev.ua. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  7. ^ "gnu.org". Gnu.org. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  8. ^ Ho Ngoc Duc. "informatik.uni-leipzig.de". Informatik.uni-leipzig.de. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  9. ^ "DICT Client". SourceForge. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013.
  10. ^ "DictEm - Dictionary client for Emacs download". SourceForge. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
  11. ^ "garage: MaemoDict: Project Info". Garage.maemo.org. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  12. ^ "mozdev.org - dict: index". Dict.mozdev.org. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  13. ^ "OKDict". Kilargo. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  14. ^ "Presentation". Pentila. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008.
  15. ^ "Start —". Zope.org. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  16. ^ "Pentila Néro". Pentila.com. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  17. ^ Giannakakis, Kostas. "S60Dict". Archived from the original on 11 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Linguae, gestionnaire de dictionnaires". Linguae.stalikez.info. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  19. ^ "soshial/xdxf_makedict · GitHub". Github.com. Retrieved 2015-03-07.

External links[edit]

  • RFC 2229 – Definition of the DICT server protocol
  • dict.org DICT Development Group. A WWW interface to several freely available on-line dictionaries.
  • DICT protocol server list